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Move Over London, This Is Now The UK's Most Expensive City

Refinery29 logoRefinery29 01/03/2017 Natalie Gil
Refinery29 © Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images. Refinery29

It seems like every other day there’s a new study to back up what every Londoner already knows: that the UK capital is hella expensive. Especially if you want to live alone or maybe buy somewhere eventually (because not everyone has given up on the dream).

However, it could be worse, because did you know that London isn’t even the least affordable city in the UK?

Another highly popular city full of bright young things has beaten the capital to the top spot, ranking first in the annual housing affordability analysis from Lloyd's Bank.

It’s Oxford – aka the city of dreaming spires – that has the largest disparity between average regional pay and the cost of buying a home in the area, The Guardian reported.

Houses in the university city cost £385,372 on average – 10.7 times residents’ average annual gross earnings of £36,033.

And it’s not just bad news for the people of Oxford. Greater London was ranked the second least affordable city (no surprises there). The average house price is 10.5 times higher than the average salary.

London has also seen the fastest growth in house prices over the past five years, at a frankly terrifying 57%.

But don’t think your problems will necessarily be solved by moving elsewhere in the UK. In fact, the affordability of UK homes is at its worst level since 2008 thanks to an unfortunate combination of rapid house price growth and slow wage growth.

The average price of a UK house has soared by 32% in 2017 to £224,926 – its highest ever level. And our pay packets have failed to keep up, with the average annual wage in cities rising over 7% to £32,796 during that time.

What a time to be alive.

If you’re willing to relocate to somewhere more affordable, however, you do have a few options. Stirling in Scotland is the UK’s most affordable city, with the average property costing £173,847, a mere 3.7 times the average local salary.

Other relatively affordable cities include Londonderry, Belfast and Lisburn in Northern Ireland, and cities in the north of England and the Midlands, including Hereford, Bradford, Sunderland and Durham. In Scotland, Glasgow was ranked as affordable, along with Swansea in Wales.

The UK's 20 least affordable cities

<p>LONDON - Lloyds Bank has ranked the least affordable cities in the UK as part of its annual <a href="">Affordable Cities Review</a>.</p><p> The research revealed that home affordability is "at its worst since 2008," with the average city price of a house outpacing earnings growth over the past five years.</p><p> Lloyds Bank worked out house prices as a multiple<br> of average annual earnings. So the average city house price in the UK is £224,926 this year, a 6.9 multiple of average earnings of £32,796.</p><p> "City living is becoming increasingly expensive with average house prices at least ten times average annual earnings in five of the UK's cities," said Andy Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Products Director.</p><p> "Affordability levels have worsened for four consecutive years as average city house prices continue to rise more steeply than average wage growth."</p><p> Here are the 20 least affordable cities to live in the UK.</p> The UK's 20 least affordable cities

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